On the first day in Green-Wood I was up a tree, about to switch my pulley saver from one anchor point to another… when I realised that I did not have one of the yellow retrieval cones with me. Arghh! Let me explain…

My approach to retrieval cones, both small and large used to be very much belt and braces for a long time, the thinking being you can never have too many. So I would hang retrieval cones wherever there was space to do so, with multiple ones hanging off my harness, my gear bag, as well as climbing and access line bags. In fact at one point, I even had one on my key ring!

So it felt like more than just a touch of irony to be stranded in Brooklyn, up a tree, with ZERO retrieval cones to hand.

I ended up having to manually de-install my saver. Once on the ground I started wondering about how I was going to manage this situation for the coming days, in view of the fact that there was not a single cone to be found anywhere. Randomly, I had a 5 Norwegian Kroner coin handing off my gear bag. And a roll of duct tape in it. As so often before in my life, duct tape saved the day! (I always wondered why I had that coin hanging on my bag and how it got there – now I know! It was meant to be there for that moment of need in Brooklyn)

A length of throw line through the hole in the coin, build up some width with duct tape… et voilà: a more or less functional retrieval cone! More countries should make coins with holes in them, they can come pretty handy.

Home now – and ordered ten retrieval cones